New research shows 15% of GPs in Waltham Forest may soon leave job

New research by NHS Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG)[1] has shown that 15% of all GPs in Waltham Forest are planning to leave their job in the next five years. 

The figures are lower than national estimates, which show that 34% of all GPs in the UK are planning to leave their job by 2020[2], however the CCG says work must to be carried out to make sure Waltham Forest residents keep getting the care they need. 

Dr Anwar Khan, a local GP and Chair of Waltham Forest CCG says: “The issues we’re facing in Waltham Forest are the same throughout the UK: there is rising demand for GP services but fewer staff available to help patients. It’s a big challenge, but a lot of work is underway to tackle it.” 

“We estimate that 30% of a GP’s workload could be carried out by other health and social care professionals, which means GPs could focus on dealing with more complex health issues. In the future it is envisaged that GPs will work alongside physician associates, nurse practitioners, practice nurses, health care assistants, pharmacists and a greater variety of support staff within practices. Administrative work also takes up about 11% of a GP’s time, and we think that could be reduced to about 4% by recruiting medical assistant administrators.” 

The research also showed that 13% of nurses working in GP practices are planning to leave their job by 2020. 

Dr Khan says: “Practice nurses play an extremely important role in GP practices, so a new programme has been launched to give free training to local nurses who want to retrain as practice nurses. Training will begin in January 2016 and more practice nurses will be ready to start work in 2017.” 

Across Waltham Forest, health and social care organisations and higher education partners have formed a network, known as the Community Education Provider Network, to provide education and training to staff. It is also looking at new opportunities for local people to start working in health and social care. In the coming months, new programmes will be launched including apprenticeships for Health Care Assistants. 

To hear about opportunities to work in local health services visit www.walthamforestccg.nhs.uk and sign up to the CCG’s mailing list.

[1] Waltham Forest GP Practice Workforce Audit 2015. Data from 36 of 44 Waltham Forest GP practices

[2] British Medical Association nationwide poll of 15,560 GPs